August has arrived... the days are getting shorter, nights somewhat cooler and the kids are starting to think about returning to school. All of this gives meaning to the phrase “the Circle of Life!”
For us at the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs it also means starting to get ready for the next legislative session. Last year’s session helped the Department reposition itself in order to better serve Minnesota’s Veterans and their families, whether that be through our staff or the County Veterans Service Office (CVSO) grants or supporting our Veterans Service Organizations (VSO’s).
This upcoming session is being referred to as the ‘Unsession,’a termed coined to signify a shorter, more focused session. Many of the items that will impact Veterans are ‘clean-up’ which means minor corrections/clarifications to existing laws and regulations.
When reflecting back to this past session I cannot help but think about the role our VSO’s played, in partnership with CVSO’s and other Veteran focused organizations. Statistically, Veterans are a small percentage of Minnesota’s general population. But Veterans have families and friends! That being said, I am asking all Veterans to be aware of what is happening at all levels of government to help ensure that the promises made to our Veterans and those currently serving are kept. To stay up-to-date on Veteran related legislation visit MinnesotaVeteran.org and sign-up for our weekly legislative reports.
Several phrases that have served me well over the years have been “It is all about relationships!” and “Everything connects to everything!” Veterans need to support those who support Veterans. It is not a ‘you owe us!’ game but the creation of a bond of mutual respect with legislative representatives and our communities and state.